The familiar fall chill is back in the air and we’re starting to see the pumpkins, ghosts, monsters and the black cats. This can mean only one thing ... that’s right, Halloween is right around the corner! Although Halloween can be one of the most enjoyable holidays for children (and some of us grownups), it is also one of the most potentially dangerous ones as well. Here are a couple of tips to help make sure that your entire family has a safe Halloween.
• Make sure kids don’t snack while they’re out trick-or-treating before parents have a chance to inspect the goodies. To help prevent this, it’s always a good idea to give them a snack or light meal before sending them out.
• Tell children not to accept, and especially not to eat, anything that is not commercially wrapped.
• When the children get home, discard any homemade candy or baked goods. Parents of small children should also remove any choking hazards like gum, peanuts, hard candies or small toys.
• Inspect wrapped treats for signs of tampering, such as unusual appearance or discoloration, tiny pinholes or tears in wrappers. Immediately throw away anything that looks suspicious.
• Wash all fresh fruit thoroughly, inspect for holes or punctures and always cut it open before allowing children to eat it.
• When painting your face, follow all directions carefully and don’t decorate your face with things that aren’t intended for your skin.
• If you’re decorating your skin with something you’ve never used before, you may want to try a little dab on your arm for a couple days. This will help you to see if you are allergic to the product.
• Also very popular today are decorative contact lenses. Many of these decorative lenses can cause permanent eye injury and may potentially lead to blindness. Please consult an eye care professional before using any such item.
Hopefully by following these tips and using common sense we can all have a safe and fun-filled Halloween!
Bill Stone is 4-H Youth Development Agent for North Carolina Cooperative Extension in Lee County.